Micron and Nanometer scale fluid mechanics:

Fluids behave in different and interesting ways when they are confined. Some of our current projects include the breakdown of the no-slip boundary condition, particularly near a moving contact line.

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Bacterial and Flagellar Mechanics:

We are studying how flagellated bacteria move, how their flagella deform, coordinate, bundle and synchronize in viscous flows, how bacteria can be used to enhance mixing and generate pumping in microgeometries and how bacteria swim in non-Newtonian fluids.

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Bat Flight Mechanics:

In collaboration with Sharon Swartz, we are studying the mechanics of bats and the ways in which their unique morphology enables their extraordinary flight performance. We take high speed video, particle image velocimetry of the wake behind the bats during flight, detailed measurements of physical models that capture key features of bat flight.

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Micron-scale particles in a liquidDiagnostic Techniques for Microflows:

We are developing innovative techniques for the measurement of microfluidic phenomena, including IR velocimetry, the use of evanescent wave illuminationfor ultra-near-wall 3D velocimetry, other Laser-based illumination and measurement techniques and Quantum Dots as nanoscale tracer particles for both velocity and temperature measurements.

Turbulent shear flows, and drag reduction:

We make high resolution measurements of turbulent flows over novel surfaces (e.g. ultrahydrophobic surfaces), and with active forcing (Lorentz forces or using feedforward control) to determine the effects on turbulent structure and hydrodynamic drag.

Past Projects:

  • Bypass Transition, Receptivity and Transient Growth
  • Micromachined Sensors and Actuators
  • Active control of tip leakage flows in turbomachinery
  • Gas flows in micron-scale channels
  • DSMC computations of high-pressure rarefied flows typical of MEMS devices
  • Analysis, numerical simulations and experiments of high-speed micro-bearings
  • Analysis and experiments of viscous damping in high-Q resonating micro-devices
  • Simulations of low Reynolds number, high Mach number flows appropriate to micro-space propulsion systems